Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sausage Biryani

I have always been a little more than interested in rice dishes.I tasted,and experimented with different rices to get  some good and some passable and not a good match for our flavor profiles. I tried the Middle Eastern Pilafs---a little too bland but flavorful, plain steamed Jasmine rice---goes excellent in stuffed peppers and with Thai Curries, Jambalayas and Paellas---amazing but tough to achieve perfection, and the myriad combinations of dirty rices from South America. And those all were good. My experiments with Couscous and brown rice did not leave much to variety.
I finally came back to wholesome Vegetable Pulavs and Biryanis. And I am a believer. No one churns out better rice dishes than Indian Moms back home. Rice Kheers, Biryanis, Pulavs, Khichdis and not to even mention the South Indian breakfasts you make from Rice and its various forms.
But with the availability of ingredients such as ham, sausages, bacon etc, here, I really wanted to create something different and new with those ingredients. And thus was born Sausage biryani. Sausage is one of my most favorite foods. Its technically a little different from a biryani, or say even a pulav! It can be compared to one of the jambalayas but then again, the spices are purely Indian and so is the layering that goes with the biryani.
So here it goes, without mucho blah:


4-5 spicy sausages---cut into lengthwise quarters, then chopped into cubes (Try to get the ones without too much strong spicing or cheeses in it. That way, we can make the sausages smell and taste the way we want them to, without overpowering the aromas of rice and spices)
2 cups of basmati rice (or use any long grain non sticky rice)---washed and drained
minced ginger and garlic---1 tbsp each
1 large onion---peeled and sliced thin and long
1/2 cup each fresh mint and cilantro---chopped
2 medium carrots---chopped into size identical to sausages
3 stalks of celery---chopped into size identical to sausages
1 tsp butter/ghee

Whole Spices: 1 black cardamom, 7-8 cloves, 1 one-inch piece cinnamon, 2 star anise, 1 med. bayleaf
Oil- enough to fry onions
Raisins and Cashew nuts


In a big non-stick pan, melt 1 tsp butter/ghee and fry the whole spices. Add the ginger garlic minceto it. Let it turn slightly brown and then add the chopped carrots and celery and saute for abt 2 minutes. Sprinkle a little salt on it.
Now add the washed and drained rice and add 1.5 cup of water per 1 cup of rice. Stir well, add 1/2 tsp of salt and cover. Bring to a boil. Now reduce the heat and cook it on low heat for abt 15 minutes until the rice is cooked. remove the lid, switch off the heat and break up any lumps in the rice, and fluff it.
Meanwhile heat some oil in a pan and fry the onion with a pinch of salt until crisp and  golden brown. Drain in paper towels. Keep aside. You can use the same oil to fry the cashew nuts and raisins. Drain those in paper towels and you may discard the oil.
In the same pan, brown the sausage pieces until slightly caramelized on sides. Drain the fat, and keep the sausage pieces aside.
Now, in a dutch oven or any deep nonstick pan (just make sure it is oven proof), layer rice, fried onions, chopped herbs and sausage pieces. Keep repeating layers until all ingredients are used up. You may discard any whole spices you come across in the rice. Top with cashew nuts and raisins. Seal the layers with a snug lid or foil. Now preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the sealed container in for 30 minutes.
In case you don't have an oven, place the sealed container in a cast iron griddle and cook in very low heat for about 45 minutes. If you don't use the foil, you should see steam on the inside of the lid.

Serve hot with tomato-cucumber Raita. To make it, just chop 2 cucumbers and 2 tomatoes finely, add a teaspoon of chopped fresh mint and add a cup of beaten, salted, plain yogurt (dilute it with milk if too thick or too sour), mix well, chill.
Serve with hot Biryani.

Mamma's Note: Feel free to add more veggies in proportion to the rice. Good choices are french beans, green peas, cauliflower florets, broccolini, and even bean sprouts. Bon Appetit! ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment